17 sales tips that will skyrocket your performance

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No sales tips make you a great salesperson overnight. In addition to all the knowledge you need to acquire about the industry, the customers, your company, and your solutions – you also need to learn about how sales work. Since sales are different depending on where you work, it can be hard to know where to start.

Plus, it’s not enough to just learn about sales. As a salesperson, you work practically. About 20% of your success is linked to your knowledge of sales, while 80% is linked to your actual sales behaviors.

Both new and experienced salespeople can end up in slumps where it feels like no one wants to talk or do business with you. If you are in a slump, the best thing you can do is fill your toolbox with new tools. Luckily, you will now receive 17 concrete sales tips that can help you get out of your sales slump or even lift you to the next level as a salesperson.

We give you the sales tips that will take you from mediocre to top sellers

1. Start by understanding your driving forces

Working in sales is like running a marathon instead of a sprint – it takes a long time to build relationships. And you will periodically feel confused, tired, and unmotivated. That’s why it’s important that you initially create an understanding of what it is that drives you. Maybe you have a passion for technology and love solving your customers’ technical challenges.

Or do you have a vision to create a more sustainable world through the solutions you sell? Maybe it’s the customer’s contribution margin on the bottom line that drives you to work hard, every day. No matter what drives you, it is incredibly important to understand your driving force. That’s how you stay motivated, even when it feels like everything is going against you.

A bonus tip in the tip: Once you have understood your driving force, you must use it in your work. Therefore, make sure you choose a workplace where you get an outlet for your driving force. Otherwise, there is a risk that you end up in a context that does not motivate you to perform.

2. Set clear goals

The sales profession is very performance-oriented, and it is easy to feel that you are either “winning” or “losing”. To remove uncertainty in the profession, it’s very important that you clearly define your goals and understand what expectations your employer has of you. Once you’ve set your goals, we recommend breaking out three different levels of each goal.

The advantage of this is that you get a level of security for days when you are not at your best, a realistic level, and a barrier-breaking level. The difference for you as a seller is that you know what activities are required daily for you to reach each level of the goal. And that in this way you can feel confident that you have done what it takes to achieve your goals.

You must separate your goals from the company’s expectations because they don’t have to be aligned. For example, companies may expect their salespeople to make 1 deal a week, but you have a personal goal of making 4 deals a week.

Learn more about how to set smart goals here.

3. Identify what makes the biggest difference in your work

All salespeople have different strengths and there is certainly something that you do significantly better than others in the industry. Make sure you identify the characteristics that set you apart from other sellers and continue to use them to your advantage.

An example could be that you love using your phone as a tool. Using your phone as much as possible is probably beneficial for you. It will make you even better at your job, but it will also make the work more fun. If the job feels fun, the probability is high that you will be motivated to continue, which also creates even better results in the end.

4. Phone sales tips: Remind yourself of the image of the “toxic telemarketer”

No one likes to be sold to, but everyone loves to buy. If you imagine the image of a classic “toxic telemarketer”, what do you envision? You probably see a large open-plan office with young, well-dressed people in expensive watches and headsets. Perhaps you will also be reminded of the last time an overly intrusive telemarketer tried to get you to take out a new subscription.

Once you’ve completed the classic image of the “toxic telemarketer,” make sure to stay as far away from that image as you possibly can! The modern salesperson is an advisor who wants to understand his customers for real. The modern seller is no toxic salesperson.

5. Invest time in your personal development

Curiosity is an incredibly important quality for salespeople – it’s the key to constant development. If you’re curious, you’ll probably ask your colleagues about how they work. And what made a customer say yes, or what made a customer choose another supplier?

All the insights you can get about what makes someone succeed, or fail, are crucial to your personal development. Once you’ve figured out what you can do more, less, or differently, it’s important that you also set aside time to practice and get feedback. This will lead to you continuing to develop as a seller.

6. Always listen more than you talk in meetings

Gong.io analyzed more than 25,500 sales calls which resulted in three interesting findings:

  1. The average B2B salesperson talks 65-75% of the time. Many people think they talk significantly less than that.
  2. Top salespeople talk on average 43% of the time and the more they talk, the worse they perform.
  3. When the customer talks 10% more (from 22% to 33%), significantly more deals are closed.

The conclusion from this survey is clear – salespeople who talk less than the customer perform better than salespeople who talk more.

There are several techniques you can use to ensure that you shine a spotlight on the customer in your meetings. In digital meetings, you can use a tool like Gong or Meetric to measure who talks the most.

A more analog method that works very well during business lunches is to make sure that you as a seller have eaten up before your customer. This often means that the customer has talked more than they have had the chance to eat. It’s a good indication that you asked enough questions during the meeting.

7. Sales tips: Create your strategy

The sales profession is in many ways an emotional rollercoaster. Some days you feel like a real winner – everyone seems to want to work with you and the deals that you were a little unsure about are successful. On other days it feels like no one wants to talk to you, no one understands the value of what you’re selling, and every potential deal seems to be a failed “pole out.”

We would like to recommend designing your strategy to turn to when things are slow. It could be routines or rituals that directly allow you to put the failures behind you and approach the work with newfound energy.

You know best what makes you perform. Here are some suggestions that might inspire you to find an option that’s right for you:

● Listen to your favorite song

● Talk to a good friend

● Turn your work into a game or a contest

● Create rewards for when you reach your milestones, etc.

8. Find out when you’re at your best

Just as some are early birds and others are night owls, there are times of the day when you have more energy. It is often during these times that you also perform at your best. To increase your sales, you need to review your calendar and place your most important activities at times when you perform at your best.

Do you always get an energy dip after lunch? Then it can be smart to place activities that require less energy here. The same goes for times when you have more energy. If you are a person who is generally more engaged and alert in the morning, it may be a good idea to place your most important customer meetings here.

For example, one of the salespeople at Salesonomics books sales meetings at 08:00, preferably on Mondays to kickstart both the day and the week.

9. Sales tips: Prospect, prospect, prospect

A top salesperson understands the importance of having a balanced pipeline of potential deals. And the key to a balanced pipeline is to constantly replenish new business opportunities. If you want to become a top seller, you need to create a routine for continuously prospecting.

Prospecting is not only about finding new companies but also about identifying new business opportunities with existing customers. It could be getting an existing customer to buy from one of your other business areas.

Exploration is so important that there should be a standing time in your calendar when you only devote yourself to this activity. Either you prospect a little each day, or you schedule a block for prospecting on a single day – it’s entirely up to you.

10. Take ownership of the next step in the process

One of the most common mistakes salespeople make is not owning the next step in the sales process. What this means is that the salesperson “rolls the ball over” to the customer and waits for the customer to give feedback – if they want to.

There are two disadvantages to this. First, there is a chance that the buyer will not get in touch at all because it is easy for other chores to get in between. Secondly, it is a huge waste of time.

The consequence of the follow-up meeting not being booked immediately is that you get a long email loop where suggestions for meeting times must be sent back and forth. Make sure you always end your sales meetings with a clear next step that is also booked into the calendar, even if it is far in the future.

11. Sales tips: Always give two suggestions for times

To reduce administration when booking meetings, we think you should always give two suggestions for meeting times. The advantage of this is that you make it easy for the customer to see if they are available during the suggested times.

It also reduces the number of emails/messages back and forth. In addition, it can have a psychological advantage as you shift the focus from whether the meeting will take place, to instead focus on when the meeting will take place.

Bonus tip: Use a calendar booking system so that the customer can choose a time directly from your calendar. It greatly facilitates meeting booking, reduces your administration, and gives a professional impression.

12. Make sure you have the right attitude

Your attitude shines through in sales meetings. Whether you want it to, or not. You have probably been in the buyer’s shoes several times – when your gut feeling tells you that “something doesn’t feel right”. The buyer wonders if you as a seller are proposing the smartest solution or are just looking to sell.

To avoid your customers feeling just this, you must ensure that you have the right attitude to the business. Instead of focusing on whether the customer will buy or not, we recommend that you focus on when the customer will buy.

Assuming the customer is a good match for your business, it’s only a matter of time before they decide to invest in your solution. The advantage of this attitude is that you get a long-term perspective on the business, which ensures that you continue to be an advisor and do not become a toxic salesperson.

13. Use success examples

It is common for salespeople to talk far too much about features and details with their solutions instead of the benefits and effects. Especially in product sales and the SaaS industry where it is easy to start talking about product features.

When you want to explain why the customer should choose you, it is good if you use a success example. It allows the customer to understand what you do and what value you can create.

A “success example” works great for explaining how the functions are expressed in reality, while at the same time being phenomenal for handling objections. Instead of answering an objection with arguments, you can instead try using a success example. Because it makes the customer realize why it is a good idea to act now.

14. Sharpen your negotiation skills

As a seller, you will certainly negotiate a lot. How much you will negotiate is affected by what and how you sell. Although the number of negotiations differs, it is still valuable to sharpen your negotiation techniques.

Before you start honing individual techniques, it can be good to come up with the right conditions together with your manager. What are you allowed to negotiate and what scope do you have? Then you can better find solutions that create greater value for both you and your customers.

15. Sales tips: Become a fan of meeting booking

Most of all B2B sales start in sales meetings. At the same time, it has become increasingly difficult to book sales meetings. Largely because decision-makers are increasingly busy and there are more solutions you need to choose from.

By becoming great at booking meetings, you will be able to create more qualified sales meetings – so that you can become a top seller.

Another reason why booking meetings is something you need to become good at is that many sales organizations have broken out meeting booking as an individual function in the company.

This indicates that booking a meeting is a crucial part of the sales work. You will be a sought-after salesperson if, despite the market’s tough climate, you can book qualified sales meetings.

16. Create your dream week

On average, salespeople spend only 12 of their 40 working hours on sales work. Of the 12 hours, only 2.5h are spent with customers who are ultimately willing to buy from you. It’s easy to get distracted and start doing activities that don’t contribute to your goals.

To ensure that you spend your time in the right place, we recommend that you create a dream week. Think about what are the most important activities you need to do weekly to reach your goals, in the situation that you are in right now.

Write down when to prospect, book meetings, conduct meetings, write quotes, etc. Once you have written down all the activities, the next step is to try to live the dream week in your calendar. Make sure to block time where needed and define what each block of work should lead to so that you optimize your time.

17. Sales tips: Record Your Meetings

Just as elite athletes watch recordings of their competitions and matches, you as a salesperson must get to see how you perform in your sales meetings. In many cases, your sense of the meeting does not align with the actual result. One example is the salespeople in the Gong survey, who thought they talked significantly less than they did.

By recording your sales meetings, you will discover things that you need to practice to become a better salesperson. You will also be able to share the meeting recording with your experienced colleagues who can help you identify blind spots and areas for development. Another advantage is that recorded meetings can help you more easily identify your strengths as a salesperson.

Elevate your current high performers to new heights with more sales tips

As a salesperson, you need to master hundreds of different sales behaviors and possess a high level of knowledge of both the industry and the solutions you sell to position yourself as an advisor.

Do you feel that your employees could further improve their sales skills, or do you have new hires who need to learn the sales process from scratch? Contact us at Salesonomics today to book your sales reps for Sales training.

Picture of Simon Blanche

Simon Blanche